When you want to change a basin, fix a portion of the floor, or have to paint the wall, there’s no time for inspiration from science fiction. Even today.
Captain Spock might be proud to occupy your next toilet or sing while enjoying a shower in the bathroom: He who has a memory and reference will remember Star Trek: The Next Generation and with it an empty, dark room and with square guides that served as an experiment space to create imaginative environments. It had a mysterious name and a reason in itself intrigue: they called it “Holodeck”.
Lowe’s home maintenance chain of stores has designed a room in which to choose, using tablets and technological devices, accessories and aesthetic details for the next repair, then see, on the same screen, part of the digital image of what your new bathroom will be. If there is any doubt about the reference, call it “Holoroom”.
It was one of the first commercial steps in augmented reality, a technology that is not news of today, and the details here are the path this evolution followed: the company’s innovation zone built the entire project on a science fiction show.
Why advance the watch if we can anticipate the future?
It was 1865 and we first saw a flight to the moon. At least in Jules Verne’s novel that would inspire the world to embark on the space race. Aldous Huxley envisioned a solution to humanity’s problems that fit in the palm of his hand: in 1931, the author conceived the antidepressant pill in his imagination, without assuming its effect on the world’s revival. That same year, Chester Gold featured a crime story in the Chicago Tribune. Protagonist Dick Tracy wore a watch that puts him at the forefront of all inspectors in the world. Today anyone has such a thing and does not solve crimes. Before store and store owners raised doubts about the integrity of their customers, George Orwell published an account in 1949 mocking the benefits of interconnected surveillance systems. In 1982 a television series popularized the dream car for children and adults: “Kit”. Without cars falling in love with their owners, there are many careers of this prototype with which the auto chain today is leaving agencies.
When reality is upside down, what sound can the disorder have?
But there are also stories of aliens colonization, environmental collapses, and gigantic monsters searching for the planet’s manager to demand that they return him. For decades, science fiction has told stories in which humanity shocks while we eat popcorn.
Not to mention how addictive these movies are (and please don’t forget the popcorn), they tell more entangled situations than the current pandemic, but they have effective logical mechanisms for resolving urban disasters. More than one person understood this subtle function of the imagination, and thus the question arose: How do you make a business out of this?
Not surprisingly, Arthur C. Clarke, the father of science fiction, has said that the only way to discover the limits of the possible is to risk a little beyond those limits, toward the impossible. In one way or another, this is the direction of innovation thinking. And science fiction.
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Give data soul
Science fiction is aging soon. Back to the future Robocop is not seen today with astonishment, but with tenderness. The impulse to move forward and buy time in the present allows for companies whose value proposition is to imagine the future of organizations and their environments. After all, the value of science fiction for this environment lies not in its ability to predict but in constructing alternative, unexpected scenarios. Therefore, no one is better than a group of writers of this kind.
The company is called Sci Fi Future, and it is located in the United States and develops innovative projects using science fiction as an enabling premise. Intel, General Mills, Ford, Visa, Samsung, and Pepsi are some of the enthusiasts who have dealt with Ship Fantasy with a productive destination.
Sci Fi Future employs more than 200 science fiction writers with an idea to accelerate the far-fetched futures in business environments. Its services vary, from the generation of editorial products such as anthology and Action comics, To interactive storytelling, augmented reality, and strategic use cases as a measure of anticipation.
There are problems for which the best solution was in an alternate lane. This is why few organizations have found that investing in imaginative spaces opens up possibilities for not only creativity, but also open innovation.
But it’s not just happy endings. There are those who approach this company asking them to imagine the most disturbing and threatening endings. Yes, we are talking about military contractors.
The stories produced in this context range from the smart guns being penetrated that are about to cause massacre of civilians, to the projectile video game where players do not know that they are actually conducting military campaigns in reality.
Where is the truth if it is now imagined?
Imagination may be limited when measured by reality. If you use a science fiction company to model the future it is also likely, by complementary reasoning, that it could be short or vague.
The value of the example lies not in naming SFEOs (Science Fiction Executives), but in something more subtle and human: claiming the power of imagination.
Hershey has created a 3D printer to take your chocolate off the machine; The school model of Stanford University D. School of Design is based on science fiction so that students have flexible, adaptable, and relevant characteristics in the curriculum, as well as in pedagogical subjects. That is why neither the future nor its tools to bring it closer should frighten a society that needs a haven to play.
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Making the future and its possibilities a wonderful subject of study. Taking yourself with the mind, be it in a creative or scientific way to the level of the future fuels not only celluloid, nor business approach, but spirit and imagination, the non-negotiable fuel for innovation.
Take control of your mind
The Greeks believed that creativity was a mechanism by which the soul controlled the mind. Captain Spock had no need to dismiss the idea: he rethought it when designing an alternate reality. One imagined.
This is why it is useful to know that bringing magic back into reality is a common goal of both science fiction and innovation.
Eduardo Navaretti specializes in editorial, innovation and user experience management *
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The opinions expressed are the responsibility of their authors only and are completely independent of the position and line of editorial Forbes Mexico.